When walking, they swing, fall off the rocks, and grasp wings of the others. With respect to how excellent hunters they are, one cannot believe how clumsy they can be. We loved the sunsets on the “Puffin Rock”, spending last minutes of the daylight together with them. At first, their frequent and precise hitting us by droppings was rather annoying but at the end we could not imagine the lovely time we had there without cleaning our clothes and cameras. For hours we felt the rock to be a shelter providing safety and peace for the birds. It was just an illusion, though.
Suddenly, a dark shadow zoomed by and a shriek from above made us look up. An eagle! We turned our attention from the puffins just for a second or two and when we looked back, they were all gone. In no time, they disappeared in the holes and rock clefts; and in few minutes we find ourselves surrounded by hundreds of shining white bellies again.
With the bird colonies being separated and still close to each other, it is possible to watch and compare behaviour of various species. Some 200 meters from the ”Puffin Rock”, we went down the steep cliff to the shore where the colony of kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) is. The shriek of thousands of these seagulls flying above us was so loud that we could not even hear each other. The birds were struggling for last few unoccupied nesting sites. In a short while, the sky turned into a white shrieking cloud of seagulls driving off a flock of skuas. This effective defense would however bring about a loss of their eggs and chicks in the next few weeks.
There are nesting sites of other arctic birds in the inaccessible southwest cliffs of the island: there are around 2 500 pairs of gannets (Sula bassana), which is the largest and oldest this bird colony in Norway, there are also around 4 000 pairs of razorbills (Alca troda) and about 7 000 pairs of guillemots (Uria aalge) on the same cliff. This area was inaccessible for us since it can be reached only by abseiling down some 150 m to the seashore with the

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